Things I did not know before I had open heart surgery.

1.  Even though they harvest veins from only one of your legs, they shave both of them.

This may not seem like much to most, but I’ve been having a growing (or lack of growing) thing for years regarding hair on my legs.  It seems that when it departs for some reason or another, it does not grow back.  Thus, I face the very real possibility that I may retain forever the kind of smooth legs women would die for.

2.  You get a Brazilian.

Yes, I know they cost a lot, but if you can manage to coerce your physician into giving you a heart catheterization — and who wouldn’t want one — they throw one in free of charge.  And since it’s not a true Brazilian (no wax, just razor), it’s completely pain free.  Ah, the look and feel of being a 9-year-old boy again.

3.  They shave your chest but WILL NOT shave your back.

This one was weird to me.  I mean, as you may have noticed, thus far all I’ve talked about is shaving.  But for as much as they tell you all about where they will be shaving, they have this pamphlet that makes a huge deal about you NOT getting your back shaved.  It gave me the impression that a whole lot of people over the years must have asked for this service and the powers that be felt it was just too, too much of an imposition.  Now, my back happens to have very little hair and I am proud of that, and for that reason it never occurred to me to ask for a trim.  But none the less, this is one line the hospital staff will not cross.

4.  You get a mani/pedi.

I have no idea what my nails have to do with getting a bypass, especially my toenails, but once I awoke, there they were, looking so professionally done I actually searched to see if they laid down a coat of clear polish.  The fact is, I am the world’s worst toe nail clipper.  My toes look like Gumby.  Adding to the oddity of this service, though, was that, as I inferred, this was done once I was unconscious.  All the shaving, they did while I was fully awake.  Why did they think they had to put me completely out in order to clip and file my nails?  Is it that painful?  Did they expect me to freak and start ripping tubes and IVs from my body in my attempt to escape?  I suppose I’ll never know.